The beautiful thing about writing,” the old saying goes, “is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, like brain surgery, for instance.” That goes for all writing, especially resumes, because once you’ve sent it, it better be right, or your phone won’t ring. Resumes don’t get jobs; they get interviews, so your resume must make your phone ring. Here are 20 common resume mistakes that should never happen – in no particular order, as they’re all killers.
1. Spelling, typographical, and grammatical errors. Maybe not be the heaviest blunder of all, it is the most obvious and, therefore, recruiters’ and hiring managers’ #1 complaint. Inexcusable! The minute they spot a spelling error or typo, they stop reading. On resumes, there’s no such thing as “perfect” but in resumes, there is. Be perfect.
2. Lack of good opening; unclear summary or objective. Yours isn’t the only resume on the recruiter’s desk, so it must command attention within 15 seconds. By the time the reader reads your opening, your 15 seconds are up. Get ‘em at the top or don’t get ‘em at all. A clear, concise, and focused opening is the most important part of any resume.
3. Selfishness. An objective with “opportunity for growth,” says you’re looking for what’s in it for you. Talk about your skills and experience in high-performing teams instead.
4. Responsibilities / duties. Nobody cares what you’re responsible for; they care what you accomplished. List your accomplishments and quantify whenever you can.
5. Wrong length. Your resume should reflect your career: one page as you start out, two as you develop.